Oscars: New Members Applaud Academy's Commitment to Diversity
As the Academy handed out a record 683 invitations, new members and Oscar-winner Brie Larson vows to "nominate talent that reflects the real world we live in."
There's nothing like an invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
On June 29, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out a record 683 invitations to new members: young actors like Michael B. Jordan to Broadway veterans like Patti LuPone, as well as up-and-coming directors like Marielle Heller, were among the diverse group of invitees, 46 percent of whom are female and 41 percent are people of color. While the list has drawn both applause and criticism, reaction among invitees sampled was unanimously enthusiastic.
"It feels like a very substantive move to make change," Daniel Dae Kim, who was invited to join the actors branch and who currently appears in TV's Hawaii Five-0, told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that he first found out about his invitation on Twitter. "I give a lot of credit to [Academy president] Cheryl Boone Isaacs. She said she was going to make changes, and she put her money where her mouth is and effected change, immediately."
"Looking at who has been asked to join, I see so many interesting names, and people that I was surprised [to find out] weren't already in," said The Invitation director Karyn Kusama. "I think that the women and people-of-color angle is very exciting, but it is also so interesting that there are so many international filmmakers. [They] will be interesting, additional voices to The Academy.”
Meanwhile, others took to Instagram and Twitter to express their appreciation of both their own inclusion and the Academy's efforts to promote diversity.
In an Instagram post, Star Wars star John Boyega called the invitations "a shift in a positive direction," while 2016 Oscar-winner Brie Larson took to Twitter to voice her excitement about the opportunity to "nominate talent that reflects the real world we live in."
See what some of the other Academy invitees had to say below.
I got in! Excited to use my vote to nominate talent that reflects the real world we live in - DIVERSITY. https://t.co/PUzUkXe7MM— Brie Larson (@brielarson) June 29, 2016
I read every single one of the bylaws before accepting, making sure there was no funnybusiness in there. Legit. https://t.co/t336Hx2ymx— Miranda July (@Miranda_July) June 30, 2016
I'm deeply humbled by the honour of being an inductee of @TheAcademy alongside such formidable and diverse talent. I wish a huge congratulations to all the new members also, this is a shift in a positive direction. Always a blessing to be one of the many Oscar voters that will hopefully spark change. #Ampas
Huge honor... And I cannot wait to vote. https://t.co/nI48CJdFUi— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) June 29, 2016